Few careers are more rewarding and meaningful than working in home health care. With our rapidly aging population, it’s a growing industry with a bright future for anyone involved. If you’re looking for suitable home health care jobs in New York, you might be wondering what to expect. Let’s take a look at the typical daily tasks and why so many people fall in love with this job.
Home Health Care Jobs: What You Should Expect
No two days or clients are quite the same in this career, which is why flexibility is a key quality in a home health caregiver. You’re likely to have quite a few clients whose homes you drive between during the day. Alternatively, you might have just one client whom you assist as a live-in aide or nurse. Either way, your daily tasks will be similar in scope.
Typical Tasks of a Home Health Caregiver
You’ll mostly be helping your client with essential daily activities such as bathing, dressing, grooming, going to the bathroom, and daily hygiene. You’ll plan, prepare, and serve meals, and also give reminders on taking prescriptions properly and on time. Another important task is closely monitoring a client’s condition, recording how much they eat, checking vital signs, and documenting it all.
You’ll also be making their home a safer, more pleasant place to live. This includes reducing their risk of falling by clearing away books, shoes, throw rugs, and other trip hazards and applying no-slip strips where appropriate. You’ll do light housekeeping, including changing bed linens, doing laundry, and washing the dishes. Some out-of-the-home errands are also part of the job, such as grocery shopping and escorting your client to doctor’s appointments.
Companionship and Emotional Support
It’s a terribly sad fact that many seniors become isolated and depressed, often due to their lack of mobility. As such, one of your most important roles is the companionship you can offer your clients. Regular visits from a kind-hearted and cheerful aide mean so much to many elderly clients. Your presence alone can have a huge positive impact by alleviating the risk of depression and helping to prevent the health problems associated with loneliness and depression.
It’s remarkable the difference a smile, some laughter, and a little socialization can make in someone’s life. In a Companion Care role, you’ll be playing cards, going for walks, helping them feel connected to the community, and doing other light social activities.
Helping the Family Too
Family members will often look to you for advice on caring for their loved one. You might be expected to provide guidance on your client’s nutrition, when and how to take medication, exercise routines, and how to carry out tasks such as lifting and turning their parent. Above all, you’re usually stepping in to provide exhausted family caregivers with some much-needed relief, for which they’re very grateful.
In a way, you often work as a close-knit team with these family members, which is why interpersonal skills are so important in this role. Many aides enjoy how appreciated they are by the families and their clients. As a home health aide or nurse, you have an opportunity to affect so many lives in such a meaningful way. You’ll often come to be considered a member of the family.
Teamwork With Other Professionals
You won’t always be the only professional working with a client. If you join a reputed, licensed, well-established care provider such as Parent Care, you can often be part of a team.
The hospice and palliative care service, for example, will have home health aides, nurses, social workers, volunteers, and chaplains all working together to provide the most supportive service possible. This can give you a sense of support as well, as you have others to talk to and work through problems with.
Required Health Training
You might be wondering what kinds of health or medical training you need for this kind of profession. As a home health aide, you usually don’t need medical training, unlike a personal care aide or nurse, who does require medical training.
As a home health aide, you will require a degree of elementary health training to prepare you for the role. This includes knowing how to provide basic care, how to take vital signs, and how to control infections. You’ll also need to know how to respond to various potential health emergencies.
Reasons To Love This Career
Now let’s look at why so many individuals fall in love with this job. If the following benefits appeal to you, you might be a perfect fit.
A Truly Appreciated Job
How many people can say that they’re truly appreciated in their jobs? As a home health caregiver, you’re making a real difference, and you see it every day. You’re rewarded with a rich sense of accomplishment and meaningful personal relationships built on respect, gratitude, and appreciation.
Help Your Clients Live Longer
Individuals fortunate enough to have a home health aide live longer, happier lives. Not only does your daily attention and help with cleanliness, nutrition, and medication make an enormous difference, but your companionship does, too. By keeping your clients’ spirits up, you’re directly helping to alleviate the risks of high blood pressure, cardiovascular issues, depression and other mental health problems, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
Keep Your Clients at Home
It’s a sad fact that many families are forced to institutionalize their elderly loved ones if they can’t access proper home health care. By supporting your clients at home, you’re providing the gift of allowing them to live out their golden years in the comfort of their own homes, surrounded by the familiarity of their own neighborhood and community.
And if you’re trained as a nurse, you make it possible for injured or sick individuals of all ages to recover at home rather than in a hospital or facility. Studies have found that patients usually have a better mental and physical state with a home hospital stay.
A Flexible Work Schedule
Another perk of this career is the flexibility you have. As a home health aide, you can usually choose your hours and work as much or little as you like. If you’re easing your way back into the workforce after a break, you’re raising children, or you’re semi-retired, you can work part-time hours and request more or fewer hours whenever it suits you.
Opportunities for Professional Development
The world of home health care is a supportive one with plenty of options for career development and training. There are various defined specialized career paths to advance down, which you can explore once you have a little experience and find out what you enjoy most.
A Job That’s in High Demand
By 2030, the number of adults over 65 is expected to increase by 18 million in the USA. And that trend is only set to continue. The home healthcare industry is projected to grow by 25 percent over the same period. Unlike many professions that have an uncertain future, home health care jobs are certain to be in high demand for decades to come.
If home health caregiving is an attractive career for you, get in touch with us at Parent Care. We’re a fully licensed agency offering competitive compensation, flexibility, and a high degree of support to all our caregivers.